Derby Day at Epsom

Queen Elizabeth raced back from France on Saturday in time to attend Derby Day at the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Downs Racecourse. She looked relaxed and very happy in another one of Angela Kelly’s “split crown” hats. This hat consisted of a lavender strawcrown, a white straw brim edged in lavender, a lavender and white straw knotted sash around the crown and a spray of lavender and white feathers. I really like the contrasting white brim on this hat (it lightens the hat so beautifully) and the knotted sash around the crown. The style of the Queen’s lavender coat was such that we saw much more of her white and lavender floral dress than we usually do and this pattern balanced the hat so well. The only thing I would change is to remove the spray of feathers (a minor detail) but this remains a lovely hat on Her Majesty.

       Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: July 20, 2011, July 3, 2010

Princess Alexandra of Kent wore a navy straw picture hat with pork-pie shaped crown, and a swath of net around the brim. I love the intricate folded knot decoration on the side of the hat but I’m not so keen on how the pork-pie crown raised it so high. A flat crown would have made this hat perfect, in my opinion.

 Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: October 6, 2006; unknown dateunknown date; and unknown date

Princess Alexandra’s sister-in-law, Princess Michael of Kent, was her usual over-the-top millinery self with this white picture hat covered in a mass of large, trailing ostrich feathers. I thought it was luxurious, grand spectacle of a hat and so very Marie-Christine. The Queen also seemed delightfully amused (see below)

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Designer: John Boyd
Previously Worn: I believe this is a new hat

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent’s daughter, Gabriella Windsor, also was seen at the races. Gabriella topped her navy pant suit with a charcoal grey straw picture hat I don’t believe we have seen on her before. She carries this large brimmed hats very well, and the peaked crown and upturned brim on this one gave it a flirty and more casual feel. Trimmed with what looks to be a large straw ribbon around the crown, this hat had more personality than her pantsuit (I’m not sure I would have paired them together).

Gabriella Windsor, June 7, 2014 | Royal Hats

Designer: Looks like Philip Treacy to me
Previously Worn: I believe this is a new hat

The British Royals were not the only ones enjoying the races yesterday. Princess Haya bint Al Hussein followed joined in the feathered fun with a very dramatic black straw hat trimmed in huge black feathers around the brim.

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Designer: uknown
Previously Worn: I believe this is a new hat

While I adored Princess Michael of Kent’s hat for the over-the-top factor, my favourite hat of the day was this picture hat worn by Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece. With a wide, oblique brim that upturned at the top and a large spray of curled ribbons, this hat was also quite bold but remained elegant and very pretty thanks to its light and neutral colour. Prince Pavlos of Greece also looked exceedingly dapper in his black silk top hat. They make such a striking couple.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Designer: Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: I believe this is a new hat

Photos from Getty as indicated; and Contact Music

25 thoughts on “Derby Day at Epsom

  1. I love the color and cut of the Queen’s lavender coat, and it was my favorite outfit from the Derby, and it was a nice change that it was a one top button style, which enabled us to actually see the white and lavender floral dress underneath, whereas we usually only see a glimpse of what’s lurking beneath the coats, or the designer stitches fabric from the dress underneath as trimmings on the coat, a look I hate. The Queen looked glowing and not at all tired, after her recent traveling to France. This hat complimented her dress very well, and I loved the combination of lavender crown, the white straw brim edged in lavender, and the lavender and white straw sash round the crown, but the feathers were too much. As Coco Chanel said, “Before you go out always take something off”, and these feathers needed to go. Incidentally Coco’s first shop was a millinery shop.

    Princess Marie Chantal of Greece looked good, and teaming this pink dress with the wide, oblique brimmed hat, was a better idea than with that awful fascinator Crown Princess Victoria wore with it. She was my second favorite look at the Derby.

    My least favorite hat was that on Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, who looked like a nest fell on her head, and why would you wear a black hat to a summer race meeting? At least Princess Michael of Kent’s too-big ostrich feather hat looked summery and coordinated with her outfit.

      • Thanks for the clarification HatQueen. It seemed a bit weird that she would repeat an outfit at the same event year on year. Fleet Street papers aren’t always the publication of record.

      • I’m so glad that the outfit wasn’t a repeat for the Epsom Derby. The Queen’s repeated/recycled outfits are supposed to be meticulously scheduled so that the same event and the same guests never get the same outfit. If this actually had happened, heads would had rolled (or at least the Queen’s computer system would have undergone a serious tweaking — meaning they would have gone back to paper records).

        • From what we know of the Queen, I can’t see such a repeat (wearing the same outfit to the same event) being a disaster. I think her sense of humour would rule and she would simply laugh it off!

  2. Lady Gabriella Windsor was at the races wearing a black tailored pantsuit with a large black hat which I believe she has worn before. An interesting combination! I would love to see her picture added to this lovely Derby Day gallery.

    • Looks like it could be, with the addition of more fabulous feathers perhaps. I like it, especially the shape and flow. I find it very complementary to her striking features.

  3. QE was in her heart’s delight, she is right where she wants to be, with horses and races. I liked her entire outfit, perfect for her and the color is very regal and become her.
    PMofKent………….she wants attention that is for sure.
    PHaya……..what the heck was that? With all her money she certainly could find something better………..awful!
    PAofKent……………….no, not even the color, the only positive thing is that bow/curl whatever, was very interesting and I can see it on another hat.
    MC…………..loved this hat, wow, so chic and elegant on her. Very stylish lady.

  4. Lovely hat on HM. Agree the crown on Alexandra’s is too tall. So excited to see PMOK and Princess Haya in their OTT element. Both have been a bit tame the last couple of years. Hoping this appearance is a hint of Ascot to come!

  5. What I really like about Her Majesty’s outfit today is that we can see a little bit of the dress underneath adding colour and interest AND that the hat is just complementary, not overpowering and grabbing all the attention. I just have to add too that I really like what Princess Michael is wearing, the jacket and dress look really good together. The hat is very her that’s for sure. Thanks.

  6. As Jamesb said, this is the Queen’s classic uniform. Lovely. Because of the spray of flowers, the split crown often doesn’t show in pictures, I guess.
    I didn’t like Princess Alexandra of Kent’s hat so well as I usually like hers, but Princess Michael of Kent’s suits her perfectly.

  7. The minute I saw Marie Chantal’s dress I thought I’ve seen that dress recently. Sure enough, Victoria of Sweden wore one like it for Leonore’s christening yesterday! I love Marie Chantal’s hat. It is definitely the best of the hats, but I am a total push over for those big picture hats.

    I think Princess Michael must have raided one of the Musketeer’s old trunks and pulled out one of their hats. One for all and all for one!

    The Queen looks lovely even with those feathers in her hat. That color really looks good on her.

    • Karen, the dress worn by MC was indeed worn by Crown Princess Victoria. It is Dolce and Gabbana. No doubt we will see it in the upcoming christening post, but I just have to say I thought Victoria looked stunning in it.

  8. I love the Queen’s hat! Maybe a few less feathers but she looks so good in it!

    Princess Michael looks like she is wearing a chicken on her head.

  9. This is HM in classic uniform – coat, flowery dress, feathery hat. And it’s fab. I’d never noticed this was a split crown until this showing, it’s very good for AK. I love the PMOK pics – surely any hint of froideur between her and Lil can’t be true! I met MC a few years back for work – there’s a photo of me with her and I’m just staring at her in sheer awe! (Sure I’ve now dined out on his episode a few too many times!!)

    As others say – Marie-Chantal is elegance itself here. And who doesn’t love an Alex sighting, looking imperious yet lovely all at the same time!

    • Would you be willing, and are you allowed to share James……..most importantly- were either of you wearing a hat!!!!!!!

  10. I think the Queen’s whole ensemble is lovely, partly because it’s one of my favourite colours! I really like the hat, which is wonderfully summery, and I think the embellishments work because of the restrained colour palette. I agree that Princess Alexandra’s hat looks a bit heavy with that crown (metaphorically if not literally), and applaud Princess Michael’s exuberance. I should like Princess Haya’s as I do go in for the dramatic, but somehow it doesn’t work for me. Marie-Chantal’s hat is elegant and restrained, despite being large!

    • Love all the new hats:) I agree that Princess Alexandra of Kent navy straw picture hat with pork-pie shaped crown is a bit heavy on the top. Perhaps the pork-pie (domed) shaped crown should be flat in order to reduce the emphasis of the crown.

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